Tracy and Foyt split...for now
Paul Tracy will not drive for A.J. Foyt Racing at this weekend’s sixth round of the IndyCar Series, but there is a chance of them reuniting later in the season.
Tracy finished last and six laps down in last weekend’s IndyCar round at Milwaukee, but had decided to race for the team in all but the Canadian rounds (where he’s contracted to drive for KV Racing). However, Tracy told RACER.com that Foyt informed him yesterday that his grandson, A.J. Foyt IV would drive the No. 14 ABC Supply Co. car this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway.
Said Tracy, “I spoke with Larry Foyt [team manager] yesterday to say, OK, let’s do this season, and he appreciated that, and said he’d discuss it with his dad. Then later, A.J. called and said, ‘Look, I’m embarrassed about the car we gave you in Milwaukee. I can’t afford to be putting you in my equipment until we’ve got ourselves up to par. Having you in the car puts our team under the microscope, and I want to get our team better before we do that again.’
Tracy said he had spoken to Vitor Meira, the driver who he was filling in for, following the Brazilian’s vertebra-breaking crash in the Indy 500. He said: “Vitor and I spoke about how the weekend went, and how frustrating it is to be with such an enthusiastic bunch of racers at Foyt’s team, but who don’t have the budget to do all they want to do. I told him that at KV Racing, there are about six engineers for the one car.”
Though it is unclear when Foyt and Tracy might reunite, the 2003 Champ Car champion has said he’d be happy to work with them again. He said: “A.J. is a straight-up guy. I’d never worked with him before last weekend, and I liked his attitude of trying to get things done. So I’ve basically told him that any time he wants to run me – and I’m talking a race or even a test – then he just has to call. I’d be really happy to help.
“Adam [Schaechter, A.J. Foyt Racing’s engineer] is clearly a smart guy with great potential, but he has a Champ Car background, where we did hardly any running on ovals, so he’s swimming upstream at the moment. I hope Adam realizes I’m prepared to swim with him. We could work well together.
Concluded Tracy: “I’m sad not to continue with Foyt. I was looking forward to traveling to races again and helping a little team punch big. But ultimately it’s the team’s decision. I hope we can work together again soon.”